How Manufacturers Can Build a Lean, Mean Marketing Machine

How Manufacturers Can Build a Lean, Mean Marketing Machine

5 Marketing Tips for Manufacturers to Improve Overall Strategy

If your team is anything like most marketing teams in the manufacturing industry, you know what it means to be lean. But just because your team is small doesn’t mean it can’t be a marketing powerhouse. After all, sometimes the best things really do come in small packages.

So how do you make the most of what you have? Especially in the case of small teams, having a strong strategy in place makes all the difference. With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top five strategy tips to help marketing teams in the manufacturing industry pack a punch that’s well above their weight class.

1) Be smart with technology, especially marketing automation

Even though it may seem at times like technology is taking over the world, we still need humans at the steering wheel. That said, there are a lot of straightforward tasks that technology can handle better, smarter and faster than humans, which can free up your team’s time for more creative and strategic endeavors.

From social media management and CRM tools to marketing automation platforms, there’s certainly a lot of technology that can sit in a marketer’s toolbelt. Among the many (and growing variety of) solutions out there, marketing automation is becoming particularly important for manufacturers. Specifically, today’s most savvy manufacturing marketing teams are using marketing automation to understand buyer personas, deliver a more personalized customer experience, improve lead scoring and reporting and better measure ROI of digital efforts.

2) Learn how to make the most of limited resources

One of the biggest benefits of a small team is that you don’t have to contend with intra-team silos, where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Nevertheless, there’s only so much a small group can take on, so it’s important to know what you can handle in-house and what you should augment with external experts. While marketing automation can make a big difference for manufacturers, getting the most value out of the program often requires a dedicated and experienced resource. As a result, enlisting the help of an expert can help supercharge the results of using marketing automation without stretching any already limited resources too thin.

Yet another way to lighten the load on your team is to let your customers do some of the marketing for you. At the end of the day, a strong customer endorsement, review, etc. goes a very long way, as people like to hear directly from their peers. Not only does this type of user-generated content help build trust and garner interest, but it can also ease the burden on your marketing team to churn out new content.

3) Become an SEO maven

SEO is like the gift that keeps on giving. If you do it right, it will help drive traffic to your website and keep your content alive long after you stop promoting it. As a result, becoming an SEO maven is well worth the effort.

Best of all, even though SEO might seem challenging at first glance, mastering it isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. For example, one of the biggest components of SEO is keywords or the word or phrase that people type into a search engine. To boost SEO, you need to identify your target keywords and use them throughout your website and other marketing content (without sounding unnatural, which is known as “keyword stuffing”). Again, this might sound like a lot of work at first. Still, if you’re developing your website and your content for a specific audience, you’ve likely already used certain keywords throughout without even trying.

4) Listen and react to customers

In 2017, two things that always seem to fall short are trust and attention. In terms of trust, even in the B2B space, today’s buyers are especially savvy, which also makes them especially wary. Meanwhile, capturing (let alone keeping) audience attention in today’s always-on, multi-screen world has never been more difficult.

The solution to both of these challenges lies in a single antidote: Closely listening to and reacting to customers. It sounds simple, but it’s something that too many marketers fail to do effectively. That’s because many teams try to guess what their customers want when the answer is right in front of them the whole time. With all the technology available today, especially marketing automation, you can pay close attention to what your customers are telling you they like and don’t like simply by looking at the actions they take on your site and how they engage with you on social media. You can then use this knowledge to tailor your efforts accordingly. And of course, the old-fashioned method of simply talking to customers directly also works.

5) Measure and adjust

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You need to measure the results of your efforts. Reporting on marketing campaign effectiveness and taking action based on that data is an absolute must for success in today’s uber-competitive market.

Marketing automation, social media management and any other marketing tools you’re using should all have analytics capabilities, and you need to use this data to your advantage. Specifically, you need to use it to understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can adjust your efforts accordingly. You can also measure performance throughout a campaign, for example by using A/B testing, so that you can adjust along the way to get the best possible results in the end.

Never Lose Sight of Your Strategy

The bottom line is, having a strategy is essential for any team. That said, a strategy is especially critical for small teams that don’t have the luxury of an army of people who can infiltrate every single corner of the market. As a result, succeeding with a small marketing team, as is typically the case in manufacturing, requires following these marketing tips for manufacturers – building out an intelligent, data-backed strategy and sticking to it, that way you can take very targeted, well-informed actions that deliver results rather than just throwing things on the wall and hoping something sticks.

AJ Traver
AJ Traver As a professional and successful marketing manager, AJ has a strong foundation and experience in lead generation, customer marketing, marketing operations, strategic content management, branding, creative development, public relations and journalism in a global company supporting international objectives. With a data-driven approach, AJ thrives on the fusion of creativity and strategy to engage and excite every audience with which she engages.

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